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Can I Make My Own Elements For A Paragon Snf24?

kiln elements paragon kiln

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#1 hershey8

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Posted 19 November 2013 - 08:57 PM

Is it practical to make your own kiln elements? I have an old Paragon snf24 and need to replace all elements, but it's too pricey. Has anyone made their own elements? Is there a kiln tech out  there??

 



#2 neilestrick

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Posted 19 November 2013 - 09:52 PM

You bet! But it's not worth it. To make it cost effective, you'll have to buy a whole roll of element wire. Then you'll have to figure out which size mandrel they rolled the element on, and which size wire they used. Then build yourself a rolling rig, which consists of a long metal rod in a frame, with a crank on the end. Then, using the element resistance you get from Paragon, take a multi-meter and figure out the length of wire need for that resistance. Then hook it up to the rolling rig and start rolling. Once that's done, stretch it to length and install it.

 

We used to do this in grad school, but we replaced elements at least once a year on a half dozen kilns, so it made sense. In the time it will take you to make this happen, you can make enough pots to pay for the elements.


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#3 WO Pierce

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Posted 23 November 2013 - 02:29 PM

Another element question: why would my elements be sprawling and stretching out of their rows? Are they defective/worn out/needing more pins?

Any information most welcome!



#4 JBaymore

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Posted 23 November 2013 - 02:53 PM

Another element question: why would my elements be sprawling and stretching out of their rows? Are they defective/worn out/needing more pins?

Any information most welcome!

What brand and model of kiln? How old is it? How many times have the elements been fired? To what cone?

 

Neil gave you the "straight scoop". When I teach students to make a small electric kiln we make elements.... but it is an "educational exercise". 99% of the time the manufacturers can do it more cost effectively.

 

Kilns, like all equuipment, need a "depreciation fund". There is more to the cost of a firing than the cost of the electricity. Each firing "kills": a bit of the thermocouples, the elements, and the kiln structure itself.

 

There is no "one size fits all" answer top those next questions.

 

best,

 

.........................john


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#5 neilestrick

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Posted 23 November 2013 - 03:08 PM

The older I get, the more willing I am to pay for things that I used to do myself. Not because I am getting too old or lazy to do them, but because I am smarter about my time and how it affects the bottom line.


Neil Estrick
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#6 JBaymore

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Posted 23 November 2013 - 03:22 PM

The older I get, the more willing I am to pay for things that I used to do myself. Not because I am getting too old or lazy to do them, but because I am smarter about my time and how it affects the bottom line.

Amen.

 

best,

 

.......................john


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Immediate Past President; Potters Council
Professor of Ceramics; New Hampshire Insitute of Art

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#7 Mark C.

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Posted 23 November 2013 - 09:04 PM

You can make your own car or shoes but usually its not cost effective.

But if you do make them you learn a bunch.

Mark


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#8 TJR

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Posted 23 November 2013 - 10:27 PM

Wellsaid, Mark and Neil.

When I drive my car, I like to know that an experienced mechanic has looked at it. Having said that...I was driving my '97 Ford Escort,and it was kind of clunking and shimmering, as if a tie rod was broken. Took it back to the mechanic. The new guy had put the snow tires on backwards! I didn't even think you could put tires on backwards.

Buy the elements.

TJR.







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